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the sense that is coming from iran. you pointed out helicopter parts. they have parts for sa-22 and 18s, which are two of the highest mobile air defenses that have sold to syria and enter the past. i know that remains. the mi25 helicopters were forced to turn it around. it is a big deal. the regime really needed more mi-25's. they did not have enough. i have not seen that an interlock time. i do not even know if they have one left operational. that is definitely an issue.
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as far as the current report about the number of vessels heading toward syria, my of the cost guess is they're getting ready for an operation and enter syria. there are a lot of russian >> pats of interest. that they need to get them out. -- >> pats in circassia. -- expats in syria. as far as the day today -- fuel is difficult. have not figure that out yet. most of these supplies are coming and three flights through iran. the rebels shutdown damascus international, that is okay. the syrians have a lot of their bases they can use.
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it is a requirement for a run to continued to back assad. the second question, this is an extremely complicated question that i am in the process of writing a longer report on. what i will say is that in my initial assessments seem to mirror what a lot of people have said with 1/3-1/4 markets far as the number of forces in the regime or a battle they are able to employ. basically for the elite units, they can afford all of their brigades and the can hobble together -- airline divisions, they can cobble together one good for grade after all the divisions that they have it.
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when the contrast to do the things they wanted them to do. i think you take a third of what the assad has and that is about right. at attrition to that. the regime stopped reporting their casualty's at the beginning of july when they really started going up. it is hard to have a clear connection across the table. estimates are high. especially if you consider the number killed. >> what about suni muslims? do we have a sense of how many
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defections there have been from a group? >> will not try to make an estimate of how many suni officers and soldiers are left, anyone who is still there fighting was still there fighting regardless. there are locked up on a base literally and enter a prison are there out there fighting at this point. there is some gray area in the sense that i think you could have a lot of the regime's willing to go to a checkpoint and play defense when they are attacked but not willing to go into an opposition in neighborhood and really do some of the more violent work.
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>> [indiscernible] >> you know, it is so hard to know, i will be honest with you. there is a teeny, tiny glimmer of hope that i hold that the consolation of activity with you have a senior regime official whose suni vice president whose name has been mentioned as a transitional figure. you have deliberations ongoing between turkey and russia between the united states and russia, although we have not heard much of in the past few days for that might be. you have the joint u.s. and arab
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league on avoid talking about the need to rejuvenate something called the geneva plan, which was established back in june. all of these various activities are working toward or could work toward something we have not talked about, the potential for some kind of managed transition or negotiated transition. unfortunately, it is hard to place much stock or hope in these efforts given how often we have seen in the past some attempts that have failed. also given how volatile and quickly the situation on the ground is moving. how quickly the -- their taking
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over on the ground. as almost erased if whether these efforts can yield anything. -- it is almost a race to whether the efforts can yield anything. what does it mean that the government will not be able to win this militarily? it is significant. is that reflective of broader thinking within the government? i do not think so. the other issue is the russians. there has been a back and forth for months with russia. had been my hope that at some point the russians would shift their allegiances away from a assad regime out of self- interest. we had this discussion last week in which a senior russian official was talking about the fact that the assad regime must not going to survive it. they may be preparing to evacuate their citizens.
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i think if they do not it would make it difficult to reach a negotiated solution. i think it is worth thinking about, but i was actually going to mention it, and then i decided the prospects are so slim that it is hard to put much hope in it at this point. >> questions? >> the russians are not going to deal with -- better not going to deal. are they still --[indiscernible] >> we do not know if the russians are still getting paid. one of the big issues is what
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is syria's level exchange. what is the foreign exchange reserve? we do know. there were reports of the russians going the other way sending printing nets to the syrians and iran providing some financial support although they have their own issues. my feeling really on the russians as this. i think what is going to happen with the russians as, they are not sentimental about assad. they have been clear about that. i think the russians are going to cut their losses, pull out, but not work towards some kind of negotiated peaceful resolution. in some ways, they want to wash their hands of this now. it is too bloody, to betsy, let the americans get pulled deeper into it and bided their time and wait. i think there are huge issues
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with that, moral strategic and otherwise. i get the sense that is where they are heading. >> i think as some point, -- i think at some point, when they started thinking about when they could tell assad it is time to sit down, the also into the realization, maybe we do not have the leverage with that we did. if we tell assad to step down and he says no, where are we? i think it is a car they were not willing to play because it might not be the high suit. >> let me just ask a question on the and the game issue. -- endgame issue. is it possible for alawite officers to stage a coup against assad?
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they say, he is expendable, but we have our lives to protect. maybe with a two, we could negotiate some kind of deal where our lives and livelihood will not be jeopardized. is that in the cards? >> the short answer is no. i think the assad regime has gotten good at preventing a coup from happening and then figuring everything else from -- everything else out afterwards. i think that has been a priority of the military. if you start to look at who the brigade commanders are of the different republican guard brigades, they are assads. there is no sort of -- it is hard to figure out where you could have a -- where you could cut off the head of the snake at some point. it just keeps going. add to the fact the way the regime intelligence services is constructed, you have for
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intelligence services all watching the military, all of which have independent reporting chains back to assad. their mission is to watch out for potential for coups and defections. i think it would be very difficult. the final thing that is critical is, if he were going to try to stage a coup, you would have to be 100% certain. it would happen in damascus. mechanically, some elements of republican guard going up against the elements of the fourth armored division in damascus, the rebels would just walk in. i do not think you can bring together a group of officers, if you're willing to take the risk.
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." >> to play this out a bit, they have really hits their wagon to the -- >> whether they wanted to or not. >> that is what makes the bloody conflict continue in a way. would you agree or do you have a different take? >> i would largely agree. in some ways i would say that not so much concern about regime wise as command and control and intelligence services operating, my understanding is those lines have deteriorated significantly. even the intelligence services on some level of operating independently in some was of a saw -- assad, the conflict has taken on existential tones to it. the amount of blood that has already been spilt is so significant, the repression that
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the regime has participated in is so significant that i think for an alawite at this point it is very difficult to imagine that there would be a space for them to mount a coup and survive that. in other words, the lines in many ways have been drawn. in some ways as there were to be a coup, it would have needed to have happened earlier. >> so we are at the point of no return is what you're saying? >> whenever was to say that. one wants to hold out hope. i would like to say we have been talking about somebody different things. i think is so important to bear in mind the situation on the ground is volatile. the intermission that we have coming into washington from a far is limited and imperfect. there are and nuns out there that we simply cannot know. -- unknowns out there. one as an analyst has to bear
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that in mind thinking where this can go. we simply do not know. >> with that pessimistic but very realistic and honest one, i want to thank you joseph and the mona for a very stimulating discussion. thank you to the audience for your questions. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> today on newsmakers, we're joined by elliot engel. he will talk about how the house and senate are winning issues around the september attack on the u.s. consulatein benghazi and the state department report in hearings held last week on the attack. >> if you work for him, you would get a material, sometimes generous overbearing, sometimes almost cruel boss.
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he did not know how to apologize. men of his age and class, they're not going to apologize to a young secretary or typist. he had a way of sort of turning the tables in his version of an apology would be to say, actually, i am kind manage your doing a good job today. the issue was never settled. -- a kind man and you are doing a fine job today. one night to going through naipaul, a german bomb went off. he should not have been out at all. his bodyguard pushed him into a doorway. a couple of thomson's men were slightly wounded. he did not like to be touched. he said, do not do that. he said, sir, you should not be out here. he said, i am only doing this
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because i know you love to. >> tonight and extended "q &a" of paul reid on "the last lion" on c-span. >> the practices of credit reporting agencies were the focus of a hearing held by the senate banking subcommittee on consumer protection last week. witnesses testified about the impact of credit scores on the purchasing power of home mortgages and other consumer products. this is one hour and 20 minutes.
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couple of years. americans as we know depend on access to credit to from their education, purchase homes and run their businesses. that is what we need to address credit reports, one of the most significant and least understood elements of the consumer credit system. this benefits another highlight of dodd-frank. in the past the federal trade commission has had authority over furnitures, those who send financial information to the credit bureaus. they are in most cases of banks. the ftc did not have the authority to examine the credit
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bureaus themselves, they could only bring in enforcement actions. the cfcb has said the authority to shed new light on the credit reporting industry about which we do not know much in many ways and write new rules of the road. as one reason why the cfpb is so important. consumers are entitled to one free copy each year, one from each of the three bureaus of they choose to do that, they find only one in five consumer's request a copy of their credit union report in at any given year. last year 8 million consumers disputed items enter their credit report challenging the accuracy and enter one way or the other, even though each american who is in the credit system, as most americans are, they each have their credit reports, one for each one of the bureaus. on one credit report, an error can affect that consumer's
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ability to access credit. a former colleague of mine recently contacted my office. his wife had passed away earlier this year. when he applied for a mortgage was denied because one of his credit reports listed him as deceased. when he called the bureau to tell them he was still alive, he was told the error would take 30 days to correct. that is a long time if you are in the midst of a financial transaction. he got in touch with us and we fixed the problem for him. he still does not know what other credit reports say. unfortunately, that is just one story, but there are all too common. an investigative series into one of the largest newspapers found that more than half of consumers that filed for a credit report complaints -- filed credit report complaints had been unable to resolve their issues through the normal dispute process with credit bureaus.
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problems abound for consumers with nearly flawless credit. one of the four most bankruptcy experts visited my office last week. she recently received an auto loan with a rate of 1%. she then received an adverse action notice in the mail saying she may have received a higher than expected rate because of adverse information on her credit reports. it is hard to think she could have gotten a rate below 1%, but it was not explained. she did not really have the time to pursue the follow up with the organization that sent the notice. these show the current system does not work always for consumers. it does work and is profitable for the banking industry who are the main customers of the bureau, although the three bureaus' admittedly, but not for consumers who ultimately face the impact of credit ratings, credit scores. creditors make money off of loans with higher rates, their ability to report negative
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information to often gives them leverage over consumers. credit bureaus are what they paid by the lenders themselves when they go back to the bureaus and as reformation, conducting thorough investigations cost money and cut into profit march -- cut into profit margins. they have some general comments, but few concrete obligations. too often the burden is on the consumer whose credit rating and credit scored may not be accurate and whose interest rates on their financial transactions may be higher as a result. the burden is on consumers who do not know about -- enough about their credit reports for do not have time to navigate what are all too often arcane and confusing system. i look forward to hearing from the witnesses that we can hope to work together to create a system that really projects consumer interests as more transparent and understandable to all of us that use the credit system and enter this country.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you calling a hearing. i have enjoyed working with you over the past couple of years and i look forward to learning more about some of the issues around credit reporting. thank you for being here. i look forward to your testimony. >> quarry stone is assistant director for the consumer -- cory stone is the assistant director. he served as the chair of stark community bank in connecticut with a lecture at yale. from 2006 until 2008 he served as ceo of pay rent, alternative credit bureau, to demonstrate their credit worthiness using their rental and bill repayment history.
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welcome and thanks for your public service. >> members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the consumer credit reporting industry. credit reporting plays a critical role in consumer financial lives. it can determine their eligibility for credit cards, car loans, home mortgage loans. they also affect how much consumers pay for their loans. the industry is critical and contrary economy. it permits access to credit that consumers can afford to repay without credit reporting, many consumers would not be able to get credit at all. credit reports are often used in a number of non credit positions about consumers. it can be used to determine whether the consumer is offered a job. a car or homeowner insurance, a
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rental housing. the cftb is the first federal government agency that supervises both consumer reporting companies and the largest banks and many of the non banks that provide with consumers' credit information. this responsibility is a priority of the bureau. last year they published one report to congress on credit scores and another report on whether admittance of information my how consumers develop positive credit scores. earlier this year republic consumer advisory about credit reports. in july the cftb adopted a rule to extend its authority to cover a larger consumer reporting agencies. in september, the release the examination procedures for these companies along with the study examining credit scores, the three digit numbers used to assess consumer's credit worthiness. in mid october, the cftb began
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handling individual complaints about consumer reporting companies. a consumer files compliance with credit reporting company and is dissatisfied with the resolution, the cftb is available to assist. as many of us conduct our reach all over the country to learn how consumers heard by the financial crisis are recovering, we have heard many expressed frustration about their credit reports a credit scores. we have heard a considerable amount of confusion and misunderstanding about reporting. last week the cftb offered a new report based on information provided by the big consumer reporting companies, and their industry association. the report highlights the basic systems that credit reporting companies use to collect organized and maintain consumer credit intermission. it is one of the most comprehensive looks at the consumer reporting industry to date and represents a significant step forward in
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understanding the industry and making it more transparent for consumers. some of the key findings in the report are, more than three- quarters of the turbines and credit bureau databases come from the top 100 furniture's of information. these are largely the large banks and non-bank lenders, and now the largest debt collectors and that buyers who fall under the supervision. this means for the first time, a federal agency has the tools to examine and understand how well all parts of the credit reporting system are working, including but the sources of credit information and the credit bureaus themselves. more than one-third of consumer disputes began to with collection items. it is five times more likely to be disputed and say information from the mortgage industry. another finding, a relatively small percentage of consumers, approximately 20%, look at their
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credit reports each year. this is a shame because while we do not know for sure how common inaccuracies are, it is likely that many additional consumers could identify and correct inaccuracies of the review their credit reports. another finding, most complex our forwarded to the furniture's who provided the original information was submitted to the credit bureaus. on average for 85% of complaints on to the furniture's that provided the original information. the documentation that consumers mailed to support their cases may not be getting passed on to the data furniture's for them to report back to the credit reporting company. the report should help clarify the confusing world of consumer reports. it should help inform policy makers and consumers about how this important industry works. if consumers know more about how the report on credit, consumers should be better able to make
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decisions for themselves and use credit wisely. thank you for inviting me to testify today. i will be happy to answer any questions you have about our report. >> thank you. expand on the last thing you said. if a consumer is doing a refi of their home wants to challenge a credit score and talks to one of the three companies that does that, typically descended documentation of something she said is inaccurate, typically the credit bureau does not go back to the original furniture of the information? not with the documentation that the consumer sent to the bureau? is that correct? what's that is correct. if the consumer sends an paper
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documentation, if they were filing the complaint by mail or provided it in an e-mail, that is correct. >> there is also my understanding that the cfpb recently noted -- some do not have a text field available. that makes the consumer complaint less likely to be examined in the way the cfpb would recommend? >> we do not know what happens when the complaint gets to the furniture. we know the text field can be filled and either by the consumers themselves when they file a complaint on line or if they call it in our mailing, it can be translated onto a text field. the same text field by a representative of the consumer reporting agency. >> of my understanding of the
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law is it requires the supply the furnisher with all the information. is that a violation of a lot of the have not provided -- it is a technology issue that i think to be fixed easily enough? second, it is just an issue they make a determination. is that a violation of fcra or a violation of the law? >> our purpose of putting together this paper that is characteristic of the work of all of our market teams is supposed to be prescriptive instead of descriptive. what we are describing is what we have heard. we have many tools and which we could make determinations about whether the law is being violated or not. in this is, that is what is going to happen. we have found this information is not being forwarded. >> is it a fair statement to say
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that consumers must provide evidence when they challenge a credit score, but the creditors are taken at their word? >> to describe the system that way i think would be accurate. you are saying the consumer can provide information. it will not get to the furniture necessarily in the way they provided it. does it provided into codes. it can be put into the limited text field. it can get to the furnisher. >> or maybe not passed on. >> of it is a separate document. >> if the bureau makes this determination by -- there was no outside player here.
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there is the consumer going back to the bureau, the bureau going to the furnisher with less complete documentation, and then the bureau only making the decision that will affect the consumer's credit's core, the consumer interest rates, the consumer's access to credit generally. all done internally with no real disinterested party making a determination, correct? what's i would not say it is fair to characterize -- >> i would not say it is fair to characterize the credit bureau as a disinterested party, but their interest is in the making sure the complaint gets passed on as they fulfill the obligation. they have created codes and mechanisms to automate it as much as possible. so the question is, is there more information that a furniture could use to do a
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better investigation or not? there are pieces of information we know are not getting through. >> the three bureaus make the great preponderance -- the revenue is overwhelmingly, from the financial institutions, not from the consumer, correct? >> correct. >> the most important customers to the bureau are the furnitures and those who send the credit scores and credit intermission with financial institutions. correct? >> that is correct. although i would point out there is roughly $1 billion of revenue earned by the three credit bureaus we're talking about today from consumers through credit monitoring services that they sold directly or wholesale through various partners. >> give me a couple of examples. and you paid

Consumer Credit Reports
CSPAN December 23, 2012 5:25am-6:00am EST

Series/Special. Testimony on the credit reporting industry and how Congress could change it. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Assad 7, Syria 5, Damascus 3, Russia 3, Syrians 1, Teeny 1, Betsy 1, Washington 1, Thomson 1, Circassia 1, Furnitures 1, Elliot Engel 1, Paul Reid 1, Benghazi 1, Naipaul 1, Geneva 1, Iran 1
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